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Cesar Azpilicueta fumes over Sadio Mane challenge in first minute

Azpilicueta Mane

“It’s a clear red…”

Cesar Azpilicueta was not one bit happy over Sadio Mane’s challenge against him in the first minute of Chelsea vs Liverpool on Sunday.

The Chelsea captain felt as though Mane should have been sent off after just six seconds in, after he elbowed the Spaniard in the face.

Directly from kick-off, the ball was launched in the direction of the two players, and Mane appeared to elbow Azpilicueta in the face without making an effort to play the ball.

The referee spotted the foul and gave the Senegal international a yellow card, but Azpilicueta feels as though the card should have been a different colour.

Cesar Azpilicueta on Sadio Mane challenge

Speaking after the game, he said: “It’s a clear red, I don’t mind if it’s only five seconds into the game, it’s a clear red.

He doesn’t want to challenge, he doesn’t see the ball. I honestly don’t understand… We’ve had decisions the other day where VAR didn’t give two penalties, today the first action had to be the red card.

“We are getting decisions against us that could have changed the way of the game.”

He continued his criticism of VAR, saying: “Sometimes we have seen a joke of penalties (sic), sometimes we see real dangerous actions and we don’t take action.

“I don’t know what’s happening but we’re not seeing consistency, even in the same games, all through the season. It was a clear red.”

Mane challenge on Azpilicueta

Jamie Carragher had an interesting take on the foul, suggesting that it was “worse than a yellow but not quite a red”, insisting jokingly it should have been an orange card.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on the other hand said that it was a definite red card.

The game itself finished 2-2, with Pep Guardiola and Manchester City the ultimate winners, as it moves them 10 points clear of Chelsea in second place.

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